Sending a fax through email can be done in a few different ways, each of them straightforward and designed to make the process easy. One method is email to fax, which is often provided by online services.
The most common method involves using a free fax online service. It’s a web-based service that allows you to send and receive faxes over the internet without needing a traditional fax machine or phone line. It’s kind of like email but designed to work with fax technology.
You can also email a fax through an integrated email and fax service. Some email providers, like Google’s Gmail, allow you to send faxes directly from your email account using add-ons or extensions. This method is similar to using an online fax service, but it has the added benefit of being integrated into an email interface you’re likely already familiar with.
On the other hand, there’s also the option of using a free fax app, which often comes with similar functionality as the aforementioned services, but in a handy app format.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at how you go about emailing a fax.
How to Email a Fax
Step 1: Select an Online Fax Service
There are many online faxing services available that can turn an email into a fax. These services require you to sign up for an account and pay a fee for their service, but many of them also offer free trials.
Step 2: Register for an Account
Once you’ve selected a provider, register for an account with them. This typically requires you to provide your personal or business information, including your email address. Some services may also require a payment method, even for a free trial.
Step 3: Compose a New Email
Once your account is set up, start a new email in your email client. This could be Gmail, Outlook, or any other email service you typically use.
Step 4: Enter the Recipient’s Fax Number
In the “To” field of the email, you’ll enter the recipient’s fax number, followed by “@,” and then the domain provided by your online fax service.
Step 5: Attach the Document You Want to Fax
Attach the document you want to fax to the email. Most online fax services support a variety of file formats, including PDF, DOC, JPG, and others.
Keep in mind that the size of the file you’re sending can impact the success and speed of your fax transmission. Each online fax service has a maximum file size limit, which you can usually find in their FAQ or help section.
Step 6: Compose Your Cover Letter (Optional)
If you want to include a cover letter with your fax, you can type this in the body of the email. This cover letter can serve as a formal introduction to the attached documents and provide some context or additional information to the recipient.
Make sure to format it as you would any professional correspondence: include a greeting, a clear and concise explanation of the attached document, and a closing salutation with your name and contact information.
Step 7: Send Your Email
Once you’re ready, click “Send.” The online fax service will receive your email and then send your attached document to the recipient’s fax machine. You should receive a confirmation email once the fax has been sent.
Benefits of Emailing a Fax
Speed and Convenience
One of the biggest benefits of emailing a fax is the sheer convenience. You no longer need a traditional fax machine, which means no paper jams, no busy signals, and no waiting for your fax to slowly send page by page.
All you need is an internet connection and an email account, which means you can send faxes from virtually anywhere, whether you’re at the office, at home, or on the move.
By emailing a fax, you save on the cost of a fax machine, paper, ink, phone lines, and maintenance.
Online fax services usually charge a monthly or yearly fee, but this is typically much less than the cumulative cost of traditional faxing. Plus, many services offer plans that scale with your needs, so you’re not paying for more than you use.
Faxes sent via email can be encrypted, which adds a significant layer of security to your document transmission.
Encryption essentially converts your data into a code, which can only be accessed and read by those who have the encryption key, thereby protecting your data from unauthorized access during transmission.
This is particularly important for businesses that regularly handle sensitive information, such as personal identification information, financial records, or confidential business documents.
Some online fax services even offer advanced security features such as end-to-end encryption, meaning your data remains encrypted not just during transmission but also while it’s stored on the fax service’s servers. This dual layer of protection further reduces the risk of unauthorized access.
With email faxing, received faxes go straight to your email inbox. That means they’re automatically digitized, making it easier to organize, store, and search for documents.
No more sifting through piles of paper faxes. And, you can easily forward them to colleagues or save them to cloud storage services like Google Drive or Dropbox.
By moving from a paper-intensive process to a digital one, you’re making a greener choice. This not only helps your organization reduce its environmental footprint, but it can also enhance your company’s reputation, especially in an era where consumers are increasingly conscious of businesses’ environmental impact.
Since you’re using email to send and receive faxes, you can easily do it from your smartphone or tablet. This means you can send or receive faxes while you’re out of the office, making it more convenient and ensuring that important documents can be sent or received promptly, no matter where you are.
Limitations of Emailing a Fax
Dependence on Internet Connectivity
To send and receive a fax via email, you need to be connected to the internet. If you have access to a fax machine, however, you can send or receive faxes even if you’re offline.
This means that the email option isn’t ideal for people who work in areas where there is no cell service or poor connectivity. In addition, if your email provider experiences outages or other technical difficulties, you may not be able to send or receive faxes through this medium.
Requirement for an Online Fax Service
To email a fax, you’ll need to use an online fax service. While there are many to choose from, this is an additional step compared to traditional faxing, which only requires a fax machine and a phone line.
Bear in mind that the quality and reliability of online fax services can vary, so you’ll need to do some research to find a reputable provider.
Potential Security Concerns
While emailing a fax can be more secure than traditional faxing due to encryption, it also opens up potential new security concerns.
If the online fax service’s servers are compromised, your faxes could be accessed by unauthorized individuals. And, if the email account used to send or receive faxes is hacked, your faxes could be at risk.
Not All Document Types Supported
While most online fax services support a wide range of document types, not all document formats can be faxed via email.
Most services support popular file types like PDF, DOC, and JPG, but if you have a document in a less common format, you may have difficulty faxing it.
Learning Curve for New Users
While the process of emailing a fax is relatively straightforward, there can be a learning curve for individuals who are used to traditional faxing or are not as comfortable with digital technology. It may take some time for these users to get accustomed to the process of sending and receiving faxes via email.
How to Choose an Online Fax Service
Choosing an online fax service can feel a bit like finding the right pair of shoes; you’ve got to find one that fits your needs perfectly.
Start by figuring out how much faxing you’ll be doing. If you’re just sending a couple of pages once in a blue moon, you might want a pay-as-you-go service. But if you’re sending heaps of faxes, a monthly plan might be more cost-effective.
Take a look at the service’s reputation. Read reviews from other users, and see if they’re generally happy with the service. Reliable delivery and good customer support can be total lifesavers if you ever run into any issues.
Don’t forget about security. If you’re sending sensitive information, look for a service that offers encryption. Also, think about convenience. Some services let you send faxes straight from your email or offer mobile apps, so you can fax on the go.
Take your time, do some research, and soon enough, you’ll find the online fax service that fits just right. It’s all about balancing cost, reliability, security, and convenience to match your needs.
The Bottom Line
The ability to email a fax is an excellent convenience for many businesses. It provides an additional option for sending and receiving documents, which can be especially helpful when you don’t have access to a fax machine or need to send multiple pages at once.
More than just convenience, emailing a fax offers a host of advantages over traditional faxing. From cost savings and improved security through encryption to the sheer speed of transmission and accessibility from almost anywhere. Not to mention, the environmental benefit of reducing paper consumption and waste further adds to its appeal.
However, it’s important to remember that there are limitations, including dependence on internet connectivity and potential security vulnerabilities. As such, businesses should weigh these pros and cons carefully, considering their specific needs and circumstances.